Revision

The “revised writing” requirement distinguishes WI from “mere WAC.”

All good writing is rewriting, but too often students turn in a last-minute dump draft. They are then loath to revisit their ideas, and most “revise” by changing a couple of sentences. We want students to learn that revision is recursive and that rethinking ideas results in systemic changes in a paper.

Show before/after/after drafts.

Give idea- and/or organization-level feedback on on-the-spot writing (freewrites, journals, letters, notes, even in-class exams) and then require students to revise and polish those pieces in different ways.

Make a contract for changes.

Never treat writing as done, only due.

Allow enough time after feedback for students to rework drafts significantly.

Check in frequently on how the revision is proceeding.

You might ask students to e-mail you selections, such as the introduction. Or you can instruct peers to compare old and new chunks of the paper.

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